- Excellent design, High quality screen, Top notch sound and pick up.
- Buttons a little inaccurate, Annoying game demos, No recurring alarm, Spring mechanism a little too hardcore.
The Motorola PEBL is a very attractive phone and will add an air of sophistication to any user. However, there are some issues that need to be considered before making a purchase.
Price$ 675.00 (AUD)
Floating through space, a meteorite collides with the atmosphere of a young Earth before the ravages of time. In a streak of fire it slams into the ground, the newly formed crater its nest of safety. Wind, time and rain erode the rock and as the ice age melts away it slinks into a newly formed river. Over the millennia the rock, now burnished, floats along the seabed until finally washing up on pristine beach in the form of the Motorola PEBL. What does a mobile phone have to do with all this? Not much really, but when David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) directs a TV commercial, it is art to be appreciated.
The PEBL is Motorola's move toward natural environment design, with gorgeous curves intended to look like a stone (or pebble) from a river. It certainly achieves this end with flush buttons and a smooth exterior. We received the black rubberized version for review but the PEBL also comes in various other finishes including a rather sexy mirrored number.
The flip mechanism of the PEBL is rather unique, but despite it being pretty innovative, it also makes the phone difficult to use. The main problem is that it needs to be slid toward the user and then released, at which time the phone pops open. Make no mistake; this looks great but the force with which it opens is a little excessive.
Once opened however, the interior design is captivating. From an artistic design standpoint, it is very attractive with a flat mirrored panel intersected with waves to separate the numbers on the keypad. Form and functionality don't quite meet here though. A result of this configuration is that it's little too hard to accurately press the buttons on the phone including the menu and select buttons which are too close to the spring hinge.
The screen is bright and high quality but has an extremely poor vertical and horizontal viewing angle. Colour shift begins only a few degrees off centre, with complete illegibility occurring at about 45 degrees. The exterior screen isn't particularly noteworthy but displays the time, battery life and signal strength, as well as message inbox status.
The menu system is the same old Motorola menu, but it seems to run a little faster than other Motorola phones we've reviewed. We were a little disappointed by the lack of a recurring alarm and found that the "demo" of bejeweled was an insult with only about 20 seconds of game play before it ends, prompting you to "BUY ME". I'm not buying you Bejeweled; I barely got to play you. The configuration options were also a little difficult to comprehend. Trying to do something simple like change the system clock took far too long and was placed in an odd position in the menus.
The sound on the PEBL was quite good. Both the speaker and microphone are positioned well, resulting in good pickup and we found the VGA camera takes fairly reasonable pictures. Unfortunately the image quality isn't the most amazing we have seen, but it is certainly good enough for most users, especially for a phone at this price point.
The connectivity options include Bluetooth, which worked very well with a very simple set up. The PEBL also supports instant messaging via ICQ, Yahoo Messenger and AIM as well as T-Mobile downloadable content and services. The T-mobile service includes a photo album, journal, email and also has games, ring tones and wallpapers available to download.
There is also a button on the right side of the phone that lets you dial numbers via voice recognition. You can apply voice tags to your phonebook or also say the number and have the phone recognize it. Unfortunately, this feature was extremely poor. Most of the time it didn't recognize very many of the numbers we said and offered us fantastic creations that were nothing like the number we had spoken. This feature definitely needs some work, but then again so do most voice recognition software applications.
The Motorola PEBL isn't a terrible phone; in fact we quite enjoyed reviewing it. It is extremely attractive and classy but anyone that is looking to buy one should keep in mind that it is has a few useability issues that need to be considered.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Fake heads and robot probes: testing smartphones prior to launch
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Xiaomi's Mi6 has the Galaxy S7’s looks, the S8’s power, and iPhone 7’s camera for half the price
- Samsung DeX turns your Galaxy S8 into a shockingly good desktop PC
- Find My iPhone helps nab a thief at Coachella with 100 phones in his backpack
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)ACT
- FTTechnical Architect - Network /InfrastructureQLD
- CCData Warehouse SpecialistQLD
- CCTraining Content and Delivery SpecialistNSW
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPFront-End DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork Consulting ArchitectVIC
- CCPMO ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystQLD
- CCTest Analyst - Infrastructure - NV1 ClearanceACT
- CCSecurity Specialist - NV1ACT
- FTLevel 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager - Applications - Data ReportingNSW
- FTSAP Fiori Technical SpecialistsACT
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystSA
- TPAutomation TesterQLD
- CCDocument ControllerNSW
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- FTSales Lead - Healthcare systemsVIC
- CCTelecommunication Business SpecialistTAS
- FTProject Manager - Multiple rolesQLD
- FTVDI EngineerACT
- FTData Analyst - GISQLD